18 Jul 2010
8 Jun 2010
A couple of weeks back, we had a team drinks & dinner in Beaconsfield, where by chance I fell into conversation with a nearby group celebrating an important birthday. The men in the group were King of Shaves fans, and Sheila knew Jane, one of my team. Sheila writes poetry, and agreed to pen a little ditty for King of Shaves, it was waiting for me on my return from Australia! Many thanks, Sheila – it’s great – and encapsulates neatly what King of Shaves is all about! Introducing ‘Klose Shave, a poem by Sheila Webb.
Between jumping out of bed each day
And rushing out the door
Don’t make a rash decision
Or you could be feeling sore!
Take your thumb and fingers
And run them along your chin
Are you battling stubble
That you know will not give in?
And if you find your shaving cream
Comes, literally up to scratch –
Leaving you with redness
And itchiness to match
There is a simple answer
An answer tried and true
If you want a smoother face
And dashing looking you –
I would not recommend you ask
Advice from Desperate Dan
Or you’ll find yourself out of the fire
Back into the frying pan!
And do not leave your shaving problems
To Jack the Lad and Knaves
Insist on only the very best – the regal
KING OF SHAVES.
10 Feb 2010
Having launched Azor just over 20 months ago, back in June 2008 (pre Credit Crisis!!!) we’ve been blown away by its phenomenal success in the UK and abroad. With over 1,500,000 Azor ‘Warp’ (black/white), Pola’ (white/black) & Azor S (blue/white) handles sold since launch, with replenishment cartridge sales averaging 40,000+ per week (some weeks 80,000+) in the UK alone, and with the successful introduction of the (award winning) Azor S (for sensitive skin) late last year, some people might say “enough already”.
No Way. At King of Shaves, we embrace change as a constant. We embrace a “healthy degree of paranoia” (just like the founder of Kyocera did). We’re always pushing to be same but ‘better better BETTER’ but in a simple, stylish way – rather than a crass “more expensive, more unnecessary functionality today”.
And with the introduction of our new Azor M Alloy System Razor today – not just a new handle, but a new improved Endurium cartridge too – we’re starting to innovate at the rate people like Intel & AMD innovate. With more shaving power, yet affordably priced, served in a stylish “iShave” manner. Unlike our competitors, who innovate with “more unnecessary” at “more cost” to the consumer, we’re all about a “Cartridge Contract with our Customers”.
In the UK, from tomorrow, you’ll be able to buy system razor handles from our major competitors at half price. They know Azor M is launching. But, you know what, they cannot (or will not) make their replacement cartridges more affordable. This is where the money lies. £2.50/cartridge, anyone? The 4,500% mark-up in some of these replacement cartridges (no names, no pack-drill) powers Huge Profitability, that allows them to spend more and more on marketing handles at half price. That’s why some of the advertising today exhorts you to ‘change your blade’ like you ‘change your tyres.
Where King of Shaves is concerned, we’re “Fair Price at FULL Price”. And, you know what – we promote too! As I’ve said in the past, and I restate it today – “I want people to enjoy the King of Shaves without the Ransom”. To “Shave Closer, Longer, For Less”. For ever.
In my opinion, our Azor M launch today is exciting for three reasons.
Firstly, we’ve launched an ergonimically improved, ‘stylish yet substantial’ handle that has won nigh on universal praise in testing (by our test panel), ‘twesting’ (by our panel sourced via Twitter) and by hard-nosed bloggers and journalists. The beauty of the Azor M handle is it has just two parts. The ‘polyastomer’ part & the ‘metal’ part. And, you know what. Just like Aston Martin’s, the metal part is manufactured then HAND FINISHED in the UK! Yes, you read that right – the Azor M you’re holding has been hand-polished.
The second reason that our Azor M is important? Well, because we’ve partnered it with a v2 new slimline cartridge. Our v1 cartridge, over 8m, sold – which was great – could be bettered – it’s taken quite a while to ensure it hits our performance targest (LubraStrips last the longest of all cartridges – the Endurium Coating is as good as it ever was) – but this has been a labour of love, and I thank my UK design team (“Andy squared”) and the engineering team at our technology partner in making this happen. After all, it’s no good having a car that looks like an Aston, if it doesn’t pack a punch like an Aston. These new v2 cartridges are going into store now in a new ‘curved’ pack – so – look out for them.
However, The final reason our Azor M is important is genuine COMPETITION. It allows us to “properly” start taking apart the cosy “monopoly/duopoly” that existed prior to Azor’s launch in June 2008. Since the launch of Azor, we reckon we’ve saved shaving men & womein the UK upwards of £30m* in reduced costs. Our competitors don’t like this. And doing it takes us fairly and squarely up against the competitor we know as “Wilkinette”. At launch, many ‘derided’ our Azor as simply ‘another disposable razor’. How wrong they were. Not only is it delivering a 10% handle market share, and our cartridge market share is ticking up nicely month by month, but with Azor M (initially available exclusively at Boots – our partner retailer of 16 years), we’re now in the System Razor league Big Time.
On this note, when we launched in June 08, “Wilkinette” hardly promoted their products (like, NEVER). Yet, within 2 years (after we launched Azor – coincidence…?), the three of us are running over 3-500 promotions across all major UK retailers each YEAR. Just check out Boots, Sainsbury or Tesco tomorrow (and make the point of buying the Azor, as opposed to the ‘Expensive that looks Affordable (yet isn’t). That’s what happens when “competition” enters the market. It’s good for the consumer (more affordably priced products). It’s good for the retailers (they benefit from increased marketing spends – both defensively (from Wilkinette) and offensively (King of Shaves), and most importantly – it’s great for Consumer (Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert – please note!!!)
So, now, it’s time to scale and grow King of Shaves into the Global Brand I know it can be. We’re walking the talk – and you know what – we’re deliving. We WILL BE the Apple of the “ShaveWare” world. A brand that’s innovative, different – better, yet at a price that is affordable to all. Shortly, I’m to be joined at King of Shaves by a man simply known by me as “iPad”. If you’ve read my book on King of Shaves (which is to be published in paperback in Spring), you might be able to guess who he is…. I’m so looking forward to working with him, along with “Team Andy”, my “Smarketing Team” headed up by Tim Wright, and all my hard working guys at KoSCo, we’re out to be The Future of Shaving.
To change it for Better, Forever. So…
Here’s to King of Shaves Azor M. The coolest, highest performing, most affordable system razor – suitable for men & women alike – on the Planet. (IMHO)
10 Feb 2010
Our brand new Azor M Alloy system razor launches at Boots tomorrow, UK & Northern Ireland. It will also be available on-line. Follow me on twitter today for more reveal, and visit shave.com tomorrow for the full reveal.